Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/15/07

AT&T’s U-verse stirs local access furor
by Luther Turmelle
New Haven Register (CT)

Will AT&T’s challenge to cable television in the state, U-verse, change local access programming as it now exists?  Stay tuned, industry observers and local cable activists say.

The issue has raised enough concern that local access channel officials from around the state have arranged a meeting with AT&T officials for Oct. 29 to discuss their concerns. And last week, a Wallingford councilman expressed concern that U-verse could have a lasting impact on local access programming.  “The way this is being delivered, fewer and fewer people are going to be able to access these channels,” said Michael Brodinsky, a Democratic councilman from Wallingford.

Brodinsky based his claim on the fact that with the U-verse system, cable access programs will no longer have a dedicated channel — as is now the case with cable — but will be part of a “portal,” or home page from which residents will be able to select not just their own community’s programming, but also telecasts from other communities around the state.   —>

Community television weakened by FCC
by Rob Brading
Gresham Outlook

When Congress didn’t enact telecommunications legislation in late 2006, local governments and advocates of media that’s less concentrated, more diverse and more local breathed a sigh of relief. Less than a year later, those same folks are wondering if they should have paid more heed to the old adage about being careful what you wish for.

Congress didn’t act on legislation that would have severely weakened or eliminated local video franchising for telephone companies, so those companies took their lobbying prowess to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC, an appointed body that for the last several years has ignored overwhelming displays of public opinion on issues such as the concentration of media ownership and given media giants ever more power and reach, stepped in with a foot print that dwarfs Shaquille O’Neal’s size 23s.   —>

GenderVision Calls for Volunteers/Interns
by Nancy Nangeroni
GenderVision (MA)

GenderVision, soon to be a new community TV program out of Beverly, MA, featuring longtime GenderTalk Radio ( co-hosts Nancy Nangeroni & Gordene MacKenzie, is seeking volunteers and/or interns to help with the following:

* Graphic design: Our color selection, logo, set & website design all need your creative touch.
* Web/online distribution: Collaborate with our crew to create a new website to complement our new video offering, and help us establish online distribution of our video series via established hosting services such as YouTube,, other cable stations, etc.
* Promotion/Publicity: You’ll help us reach out to our viewers, locally, nationally and internationally, to keep them informed about this exciting new program. You’ll use established channels, and develop some new ones, to help us reach a large and diverse audience.
* Research: You’ll help us line up permissions, source materials like photos and film/video clips, topical information and potential interview guests
* Production assist: You’ll help us during the program shoot onsite at BevCam, welcoming and guiding guests, gophering, assisting the director, etc.

We look forward to collaborating with you; distance is no barrier in this work (except production assistance).  To become part of this exciting, cutting edge GenderVision production crew, please send an email to nancy [at] detailing your talents, experience and interest. All experience levels welcome.   —>

PTTV eyes webcasts across Peninsula
by Jeff Chew
Peninsula Daily News (WA)

PORT TOWNSEND – Public access television has a future on the Web in Jefferson County, says a community broadcasting leader, and one day could extend its reach west into Clallam County.  Karen Nelson, newly elected chairwoman of the Public Education and Government board, or PEG, says Port Townsend Television intends to establish Olympic Peninsula Network Media to connect the region through webcasts.

“So by the end of the year, we plan to come out of the closet with new OPEN Media,” Nelson said.  “We’re growing it for the region, a way of communicating what’s going on in the local region, then we will broadcast it regionally.”

The move comes at a time when a local television broadcasting gap has been left in the Port Angeles-Sequim market after Peninsula News Network, on cable television channel 3, discontinued operations.  PNN operated under an agreement with Port Angeles-based WAVE Broadband until it ceased operations in June, citing a lack of advertising revenues.   —>

Community Technology Foundation Announces ZeroDivide Fellows Class III
Fellowship Focuses on Community Technology, Social Enterprise to Advance Social Justice
AScribe Newswire

SAN FRANCISCO – The Community Technology Foundation (CTF) announces the selection of 16 individuals for Class III of the ZeroDivide Fellowship. This highly sought after two-year Fellowship increases the capacity of leaders in California to promote social justice through the use of information and communications technology (ICT), including digital media.

“The ZeroDivide Fellowship is about building a movement of technology users who can turn information into action to improve society,” said Tessie Guillermo, CTF President and CEO.  “These ZeroDivide Fellows exemplify the diversity of California’s communities, representing communities of color, rural communities, people with disabilities, and other underserved communities,” said Laura Efurd, Chief Community Investment Officer. “They have the passion and drive to use technology and digital media to advance social justice, and to influence technology policy to reflect the needs and desires of their communities.”

The ZFellows will build their technology and advocacy skills, engage in discussions with key policy makers, and explore collaborations with the ICT industry. During the fellowship, ZFellows will explore new strategies and relationships, work across traditional boundaries, and develop new ideas and solutions that will advance the field of community technology. The ZFellows will share their learnings and experience with their communities through the completion of a strategic impact project.   —>

Paper Tiger Television – 25th Year Anniversary
7pm & 9pm, 15 & 16 October 2007
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue (at E. 2 St) New York, NY 10003

In celebration of their 25th anniversary, progressive downtown media organization and one-time public access channel Paper Tiger Television hosts two nights of programming at the Anthology Film Archives. Over the years, PTTV has helped hundreds of New York media activists, students, art historians, video artists, and others produce videos with various goals and for various audiences. They are mostly known for the culturally critical documentary tapes with a certain PTTV-look that eschews slick production values for a sense of artistry and play.

Recommended tonight at the 7pm screening is sociologist Herb Schiller’s 1981 tape Herb Schiller Reads the New York Times: The Steering Mechanism Of the Ruling Class, which delivers on its titular promise. The video is an early manifestation of a video “reading” genre that PTTV pioneered. The form is one in which an intellectual or artist performs a critical, something theatrical, reading of a popular cultural publication, usually with the intention of deconstructing the language of the text and exposing the transparent constitutive ideologies in the process; Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs made a tape reading Rolling Stone for the series in 1982, Martha Rosler reading Vogue in 1982, Alex Cockburn reading the Washington Post in 1983, Noam Chomsky reading the New York Times in 1986.

Tomorrow’s show at 7pm focuses on tapes dealing with race and class in New York, and includes Tompkins Square Park: Operation Class War, a 1992 documentary on the now deeply entrenched class divides of a then-gentrifying Lower East Side. The 9pm program features several tapes centered on LGBTSTQ perspectives, including Fenced Out, a 2001 documentary on the legal struggles for Christopher Street Pier, a long-established safe-haven for lower-income and homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, Two Spirit, transgender and questioning youth of color and an important 60s historical site of the modern gay liberation movement.

Art & Commerce: Death by YouTube
by Andrew Keen

Is the Web 2.0 cultural revolution of user-generated content good news for the ad industry? Will the explosion of fashionable blogs and social networks increase the size of the advertising economy? Can the YouTubification of professional creative content and the wikifying of mainstream authoritative media benefit advertisers and advertising companies?

The answer to these three questions, I’m afraid, is unambiguously negative. No, no, no. Web 2.0 is, in truth, the very worst piece of news for the advertising industry since the birth of mass media. In the short term, the Web 2.0 hysteria marks the end of the golden age of advertising; in the long term, it might even mark the end of advertising itself.

It’s not possible to talk about the meteoric rise of Web 2.0 without discussing the equally dramatic fall of mainstream media. These two profoundly significant historical events are occurring in parallel, each a cause and an effect of the other. And the fate of the advertising business is intimately bound up with both Web 2.0’s growth and mass media’s decline.   —>

AMD Tunes into Cable HDTV
by Jeremy Charette
Digital Media Thoughts

“Those looking to tap into cable HDTV channels on their computers will soon have a new option. AMD announced the expansion of its ATI TV Wonder line on Monday, with three new models that pick up Clear QAM high-def content. The ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo USB will be the most flexible of the bunch, offering two tuners to allow simultaneous viewing and recording on different channels. Both tuners will work not only with off-the-air HD content, but also unencrypted Clear QAM cable channels, making the new models a significant advance from previous models, which only offered off-the-air capabilities.”

Color me skeptical. My family in upstate NY has Time Warner Cable service, and can get all the basic channels on the TiVos I bought for them with the built-in tuner. Whenever I’ve hooked a device up to my Time Warner service here in NYC, all I get is a couple snowy public access channels. I may pick one of these up just to try it out and see if I get anything at all. If it means being able to downgrade to basic service and save a few bucks every month, I’d be thrilled. Did I mention that I’m skeptical?,12689

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, FCC, HDTV, municipal programming, streaming, U-Verse, video franchising, Web 2.0

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